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Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Rob Black - County Council Ward 5

6794 Hwy 6 North, FergusRob Black


I was born and raised in Centre Wellington and my family roots run deep here in the Fergus –Elora area, dating back to 1834 when my Great Great Great Grandfather Hugh Black came to this area as one of the early pioneer families in Fergus. 

I live in Ward 5. 

My wife Julie works in the community and our 4 children have grown up here.  Most recently my community involvement has centred around our children’s sports, organization and school activities. As well I have been involved in the Wellington County Historical Society, the Centre Wellington Awards of Excellence and the Ontario Trillium Foundation Waterloo Wellington Dufferin Grant Review Team.  I have also held leadership positions on numerous boards of provincial and national rural, agriculture and youth-serving organizations.

I work in Wellington County.  As Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Ontario Institute, working with my colleagues, our partners and the Board of Directors, we develop leaders, initiate dialogue, support collaboration and promote action on rural issues and opportunities… to build vision, voice and leadership for a strong and vibrant rural Ontario.

In running for County Council I do not have an ‘axe to grind’ or a specific issue that I need addressed.  I have the time and skill sets necessary and the desire to give back to my community.  Having worked in the provincial government and led provincial organizations for almost 30 years, I have numerous connections across the county, province and country and at all levels of government.  I am interested in the well-being, prosperity and vitality of Centre Wellington and Wellington County.  I am willing to learn and listen.  I am willing to work hard for this community and for Wellington County.

The time is right for me to now ‘give back’ as Ward 5 Councillor on Wellington County Council.  I want to get involved and contribute in a positive way to OUR community!


For me, giving back means contributing to the vibrant community of Centre Wellington and Wellington County through active participation and leadership as Ward 5 Councillor on Wellington County Council. 

I am a team player, a team builder and have always been a strong proponent of dialogue and collaboration.  With this in mind I firmly believe there needs to be continued further and enhanced dialogue and collaboration between the Township of Centre Wellington and Wellington County.  It is only by working together that we will all succeed!

Together we will ensure that Centre Wellington, as a part of Wellington County, continues to thrive, prosper and grow into the future.  With your support, at County Council I will endeavour to listen; share; communicate regularly; represent YOU and Ward 5; encourage dialogue and collaboration; exercise best judgement and contribute to the decision-making process.


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Questions & Answers

Question from Sandra Brown for Kelly Linton, Mary Lloyd, Fred Morris, Stephen Kitras, Walt Visser, Vinnie Green, Stephen O’Neill, Rob Black, Diane Ballantyne, David Gohn

What is your opinion on wind turbines?  For or Against?

Black, Rob:
Our need for electricity/ energy is ever increasing and I am in favour of alternative energy sources.  I do however feel that there must be individual, community and municipality input and discussion in to the siting of these alternative energy sources.  Unfortunately the province of Ontario has taken away, for the most part, the ability for citizens, local communities and local municipalities to have this ‘say’.

Question from S. Brown for All Candidates, except School Board

Micro chip scanner for dogs.  Most dogs have micro chip identification and when I bought my dog licence learned Elora does not have a scanner – why not?

Black, Rob:
I believe that animal control services are contracted out by the local municipality for a specified time period. I would encourage Council to seek out services having the appropriate and necessary equipment when the contract is next negotiated.

Question from Jeremy Woods, President, Wellington Standard Condominium Corporation No.149 for All Candidates, except School Board

The unit owners and tenants of the Wellington Standard Condominium Corporation No. 149 (The Beckett Centre), at 820 Gartshore Street in Fergus would like to know the candidates’ views of the current Commercial Tax Rates and Classification.  In particular the possible creation of Commercial and/or Industrial Condominium Classifications.  We feel that we are being unfairly taxed – as an example, each of the 26 units are being taxed as if they are stand-alone buildings on their own lots, instead of one building, on one lot, broken into 26 units.  MPAC does allow for this in their assessments, and other municipalities in Ontario have created these additional classes.  By creating these classifications and reducing the overall tax base on these companies, may encourage more of these commercial condo buildings to be built.

Black, Rob:
As a new candidate running for County office this is an area that is not within my scope of understanding at this time.

3 Question from Karen Hudson for any wishing to respond  (her 4th question was asked at the meeting on October 1st)

We have roads and bridges in poor repair.  Is there money to repair these, and is it really our money, or are we operating in a deficit?  Is there actually any plan?

Black, Rob:
The majority of roads and bridges within Centre Wellington are the responsibility of the Township of Centre Wellington.  It is my belief however that there needs to be far more dialogue and collaboration between the local Township and the County of Wellington as infrastructure priorities are determined and expenditures are made.  Working hand in hand they have a much better chance of leveraging other funds in order to bring our many bridges and roads back to acceptable standards.  It is only with both levels of government working together that our communities will succeed, prosper and grow.

What can we do to have influence over the slow progress in the building of a new hospital?  Genuine influence.

Black, Rob:
Hospital infrastructure building is the responsibility of the provincial government.  The community of Centre Wellington has “come to the discussion and fundraising tables” in many ways over many years when necessary and requested and ensured we are where we are today, as a result.  We need to continue to encourage our elected provincial officials to work hard for a solution and support the efforts as needed.

Why did the mayor agree to such an elaborate expansion of the Fergus library?  It needed work, but this is far beyond what is sensible.

Black, Rob:
I note this question is directed to the Mayor for an answer.

Questions (2) from Steven Wright, Wrighthaven Homes for Mayoral, Township and County Candidates

Nimby Syndrome:  Not in My Backyard or "NIMBY" is a major concern for builders and developers who are faced with community opposition to important new developments including affordable housing, higher density housing mixed use developments and other housing options that provide choice for everyone.  Do you agree that NIMBY needs to be addressed?  If so by what methods will you address NIMBY attitudes in the community?

Black, Rob:
NIMBY Syndrome is best addressed/ dealt with through education, ongoing and regular dialogue and communication between all parties.  I am a strong proponent of dialogue and collaboration and would encourage County Council to develop and use a variety of methods to ensure this takes place on an ongoing basis.

Places to grow legislation has increased pressures on planning departments to adhere to new rules and density requirements encouraging intensification in existing residential subdivisions and particularly downtown areas whereby often homes and buildings of heritage value exist.  Quite often these older buildings are in jeopardy as a result of requests to demolish so as maximize density requirements when a developer submits new plans to develop these building consistent with the places to grow legislation.  As a councillor do you feel you have the fortitude to resist pressures of the act and vote to deny the requests to demolish heritage resources?

Black, Rob:
Over many years we have lost numerous heritage structures within our communities.  As a local history ‘buff’, long-time resident of the community and strong supporter of our local and built heritage I will work hard to ensure the heritage resources within our community are valued, highlighted and maintained as possible.


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